30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 12 – Old Friends

Day 12 – Old Friends

I’m thankful for old friends, particularly the old neighborhood gang. My earliest adventures were shared with these guys. Climbing the tallest trees, constructing forts and treehouses, strategizing battle plans against killer squirrels and wabbits.

A few years later, yard-games of football pounded the battleground, and soon after, sweaty shirts vs. skins basketball (and flaunting around the girls).

High school turned the war on zits and protecting our illustrious image. We ruled the neighborhood, lording our kingship over the minions of 6-12 year-olds. We were untouchable.

Then life was suddenly complicated. The games ended. Different paths were chosen. We grew up. Family losses ensued, but brothers-in-arms we’ll always be.

I thank the following old friends, the first companions to shape my life:

Todd G. – Earliest friend I recall (at 4 yrs old). Hung out all the time in the early years. Todd’s father, Bob, passed away in 2009. Bob will be missed by the entire gang.
Chad G. – Todd’s younger brother. Shared a passion for wildlife.
Greg L. – Deemed the wise one. Ushered me into the world of computers. More common sense than most people I know.
Steve H. – The no-fear rascal. Pushed the limits creating neighborhood havoc (there’s always one), but would gladly walk the elderly across the street. Shared a passion for the outdoors.
Jim H. – Steve’s older brother. Instilled in me the love of music and instruments. Mr. Suave with the ladies.
Stu M. – Walking sports knowledgebase. Played countless hours of basketball and Nintendo together.
Cliff R. – Fellow Disney fanatic in our younger years. Pretended to run our own business on his parents’ company computer. Cliff’s father, Bill, passed away earlier this week. Another great dad from the old gang.

Today, we may share different values and philosophies, but all these guys helped develop who I am. Collectively, they gave me the gift of an explorer’s heart.

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